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It Gets Better
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My first experience with science writing (Part 1 of 2)
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This is why we get vaccinated
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Monday Morning Jam
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Saturday Morning Serenade
Saturday, April 23, 2011

So long, farewell ...
Friday, April 1, 2011
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Stay Tuned ...
Thursday, March 31, 2011

From the Union of Concerned Scientists
Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Week 23 - Hockey Pool
Monday, March 14, 2011

March Madness
Monday, March 14, 2011

Saturday Morning Serenade
Saturday, March 12, 2011

What a bargain!
Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Wednesday Micro Hits
Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Technique Overload
Monday, March 7, 2011

Saturday Morning Serenade
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Et tu FDA?
Wednesday, March 2, 2011
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Saturday Morning Serenade - A Hip Edition
Saturday, February 26, 2011

Saturday Morning Serenade
Saturday, February 19, 2011

Wednesday Micro Hits (on Thursday!)
Thursday, February 17, 2011

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day
Monday, February 14, 2011

Saturday Morning Serenade
Saturday, February 12, 2011

The GOP War on Science
Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Wednesday Micro Hits
Wednesday, February 9, 2011

People, how about some ...
Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Saturday Morning Serenade
Saturday, February 5, 2011
January (21)

Saturday Morning Serenade
Saturday, January 29, 2011

Friday, January 28, 2011

Are you married to your reagents?
Thursday, January 27, 2011

Wednesday Micro Hits
Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Common Sense Tip #1
Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Saturday Morning Serenade
Saturday, January 22, 2011

From the Baby Boomers, a Big "Screw You"
Friday, January 21, 2011

Student Worker - More Student or More Worker?
Friday, January 21, 2011

Wednesday Micro Hits
Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Saturday Morning Serenade
Saturday, January 15, 2011

Holy moly!
Friday, January 14, 2011

Thursday Pondering
Thursday, January 13, 2011

The Electronic Office
Thursday, January 13, 2011

Wednesday Micro Hits
Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Saturday Morning Serenade
Saturday, January 8, 2011

The Plug - January Edition
Friday, January 7, 2011

Bits 'N Pieces
Thursday, January 6, 2011

Latest Manuscript Review
Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The $4 gallon of gas
Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Our slowly shrinking (and dying) planet
Tuesday, January 4, 2011

It's 2011 already? For reals?
Monday, January 3, 2011
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Saturday Morning Serenade
Saturday, December 11, 2010

The State of Microbiology
Thursday, December 9, 2010

Wednesday Micro Hits
Wednesday, December 8, 2010

2010 blogging meme
Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Environmental Impact of the Christmas Season
Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Music Snobbery
Thursday, December 2, 2010

Phantom Power
Thursday, December 2, 2010

What's Your Name?
Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Wednesday Micro Hits
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
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Saturday Morning Serenade
Saturday, November 27, 2010

Awakening from the food coma ...
Friday, November 26, 2010

Wednesday Micro Hits
Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Donor's Choose Final Followup (Recipes #3 and #4)
Tuesday, November 23, 2010

A Monday Mess
Monday, November 22, 2010

Saturday Morning Serenade
Saturday, November 6, 2010

Wednesday Micro Hits (Peer-Review Edition)
Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Day 2 of the ASA-CSSA-SSSA Meeting (#ACSMtg)
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
October (29)

ASA-CSSA-SSSA Meeting - Day 1
Sunday, October 31, 2010

Stayin' Alive
Sunday, October 31, 2010

Saturday Morning Serenade
Saturday, October 30, 2010

Wednesday Micro Hits (Vol. 4)
Wednesday, October 27, 2010

ASA-CSSA-SSSA Early Career Program
Monday, October 25, 2010

Saturday Morning Serenade
Saturday, October 23, 2010

Wednesday Micro Hits (Vol. 3)
Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Donor's Choose - Family Recipe Number 1
Sunday, October 17, 2010

Making Good on Donor's Choose Bribe - Comfort Food Recipe 1
Saturday, October 16, 2010

Saturday Morning Serenade
Saturday, October 16, 2010

Friday Wrap-Up and Random Thoughts (Vol. 2)
Friday, October 15, 2010

First I Begged, Now I Bribe
Thursday, October 14, 2010

Finding Out Things The Hard Way(TM)
Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Wednesday Micro Hits (Vol 2)
Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Here's where I start begging ...
Tuesday, October 12, 2010

#UnK3rn3d: Life Outside the Lab?
Tuesday, October 12, 2010

First fleas, now frogs?
Tuesday, October 12, 2010

No Fleas Please
Monday, October 11, 2010

My next Research Blogging article has been chosen ...
Sunday, October 10, 2010

Saturday Morning Serenade
Saturday, October 9, 2010

Donor's Choose
Friday, October 8, 2010

Friday Wrap-up and Random Thoughts
Friday, October 8, 2010

RB: Waste Not, Want Not.
Thursday, October 7, 2010

Research Blogging
Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Wednesday Micro Hits
Wednesday, October 6, 2010

What if I were not a microbiologist ...
Tuesday, October 5, 2010

TJ's Tips on Manuscript Review
Monday, October 4, 2010

Chinese plagiarism and the death of English-language journals
Friday, October 1, 2010

Allow Me a Formal Introduction
Friday, October 1, 2010
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Thomas Joseph

It's a Micro World after all is a blog dedicated to discussing pretty much whatever I feel like. When I delve into scientific matters it will primarily be discussing microbiology (agricultural, bioenergy, and environmental focus). Otherwise, I'll probably ramble on about sports and life.

My posts are presented as opinion and commentary and do not represent the views of LabSpaces Productions, LLC, my employer, or my educational institution.

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Awesome Stuff
Sunday, October 17, 2010

Here is my family recipe, as promised in my Donor's Choose challenge. If you like this recipe, and want more ... you've got to donate! As long as you donate, I'll make good on my promise and post two recipes. One will be a family recipe or my choosing, the other will be a recipe for one of my favorite comfort foods (so technically they will both be family recipes). If we get to $250, I'll post a family secret cheescake recipe, and if we hit $500, I'll post the other.

Now here we go, my family recipe of the week. It's pasta e fagioli (pronounced sort of like pasta fah-zule) where zule sounds like yule, as in the log. ;) It's typically a meatless dish, but you can add a pound of cubed beef to it if you can't go a meal without consuming animal flesh (I'm looking at you Brian). Some people and restaurants* use ground beef ... whatever you do, don't ruin this good meal using ground beef. I beg you.

Pasta e Fagioli


1 pound beef, cubed, and browned in olive oil (optional)

1 pound pasta (I grew up with ditalini rigati, which look like small tubes, but you could get away with penne rigate or gremiti here)

2 cans (14.5 ounces each) of beans (you can use red kidney beans, but I like cannellini, using canned beans is nice because you don't have to soak them overnight in cold water).

2 cups of chicken stock

1 cup of water

4 to 6 cloves of garlic (crushed and minced, you can certainly use more if you love garlic like I do)

1 can (28 ounces) of diced tomatos (use a good brand, one that doesn't taste too tinny such as Muir Glen, Tuttorosso, or even Progresso)

Basil (if you have fresh dice it up and use it but the all encompassing "Italian Spices" will work in a pinch). Season to taste, but usually a good few shakes into your palm as measurement will suffice.

1 large onion, chopped and diced

Olive oil (discretionary amounts)

Bad, bad cheese

Don't even think of using this "cheese"!

Sautee onion and garlic until brown with a few teaspoons of olive oil. Do the onion first because if you burn your garlic, it'll taste horrible. The garlic will brown very easily.  Toss in the basil (if fresh) and heat up for maybe 30 seconds or so. Add tomatos (and basil if using dried) and chicken stock, simmer for 30 minutes so flavors diffuse through the sauce. Drain beans then add, cooking for another 2 hours. Remove a couple of cups of the "soup" mix, place in blender and puree. Cook your pasta in water. It will typically take about seven to eight minutes if placed in already boiling water. Drain pasta and add to pot of tomatos and beans. Add puree'd beans back to pot, add the cup of water. If it's too thick, you can add a bit more water (or additional chicken stock if you please) until it thins just a bit. Season with black pepper and red pepper flakes (to taste, totally optional). Sprinkle on some good parmesean cheese (if you buy it in a can, it's not good ... if you have to grate it, it's probably good), or if you prefer a bit of a salty-kick to it, instead of adding salt, sprinkle on some Pecorino Romano cheese (also grated). Serve and enjoy!

*I'm looking at you Olive Garden ... a pox on you.

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Blog Comments

Jason Goldman
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Looks fantastic. Going to try it this week!

Dub C Med School
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You can never go wrong with peasant dishes.  Does this recipe lend itself well to fresh beans (I've got some late favas, I've been meaning to use up)?

UC Davis
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Will you be having some chianti with those fava beans JaySeeDub?! ; )

Dub C Med School
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I could serve seared calf liver after the fagioli...

Thomas Joseph
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JaySeeDub: I think fava beans would go extremely well with this recipe. Let me know what how it turns out.

The thing I like about cooking is, while I'll work off a general recipe/guideline, I'm not afraid of mixing things up. Unless I'm really craving a particular flavor/experience at the time I'm cooking it up (e.g., I almost never mess with my ribs with apricot sauce recipe), I'll almost always try to add a spin to the dish and see how it turns out. Sometimes I wind up with something sub-par (but still edible) but oftentimes I wind up with a dish that I could easily substitute for the original and have a great appreciation for.


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